Our advice on flooding

Crew unloading a dingy from a red fire service vehicle in a flooded street

Any time there is a significant risk of flooding we work in partnership with the Environment Agency to ensure that watercourses in the borough are kept clear. Should there be any major instances of flooding, we will work with the county council, the fire and rescue service and the Environment Agency to ensure that residents are evacuated to places of safety.

Preparing for and what to do during a flood

We recommend you read Gloucestershire County Council's flood guide. This contains useful information about preparing for flooding, and also what to do during a flood. Further information is available on their website.

Gloucestershire Prepared have created the 'are you ready' booklet. This contains advice to help you prepare for and respond to an emergency.

GOV.UK also gives some useful information on preparing for a flood and how to get help.

To check if your property is at risk of flooding or to register for the free Floodline Warnings Direct service, please call Floodline on:

  • Telephone: 0345 988 1188
  • Type talk: 0345 602 6340 (for the hard of hearing)

Or visit the GOV.UK flood information service.

Get the latest information


Unfortunately, we cannot supply sandbags to protect all properties, so we would encourage you to make plans to protect your property in the event of flooding. You can buy sandbags at DIY and hardware shops. However, we would encourage you to consider the wide range of flood protection products available as these are often easier to store and put in place and are more durable than sandbags. Flood boards, sandless sandbags and air brick covers can be purchased from most builders’ merchants or online via retailers and websites like bluepages.org.uk. For advice about flood products and flood insurance visit The National Flood Forum charity or call them on 01299 403 055.

We support the Environment Agency's 'self help' policy with regard to flood protection. Visit GOV.UK for advice on how to prepare your property for flooding.

We have a small stock of sandbags which will be used strategically if flooding affects Cheltenham, for example to protect hospitals, schools and infrastructure such as electricity substations.

If you are using sandbags to protect your property, the Gloucestershire Local Resilience Forum (LRF) gives useful advice in this video on how to implement them effectively: How to sandbag your property video.

Disposal of sandbags

You are responsible for the safe and legal disposal of your sandbags after a flood.

If you are not storing sandbags for future use:

  • Double wrap the sandbags (bin liners can be used)
  • Once sandbags are wrapped they can then be taken to your nearest household waste recycling centre for disposal
  • Or the bags can be split open, with the sand dug into your garden, and the empty bags put in your refuse bin
  • Do not place full sandbags or sand in your bin for collection
  • Do not allow any sand to be washed into drains as this will cause blocking (and potentially flooding)


With any kind of intense weather, travelling can be a challenge. Please plan carefully and drive with caution. Ask yourself if your journey is essential or could it be rearranged for when conditions improve. Follow @GlosRoads on Twitter for information on road conditions.

You can report report any tree debris or flooding on the roads online or by calling 08000 514 514.

If you come across anything like a fallen telephone cable or power line across a road, please do not attempt to cross it. Keep a safe distance and notify the police by calling 999. Downed power lines can also be reported to National Grid on 0800 465 1212.

Flood wardens

Cheltenham has a network of volunteer flood wardens who keep an eye on known flooding hotspots, river levels, ditches and culverts, and report any concerns.

Report flooding

Find out who does what and how to report flooding.